RDA comprises six award categories. Entries must be built and can be located anywhere in the world.
Each entry must be a commissioned project and the entrant must have had the primary design responsibility. A project may be entered into only one category. The jury will award at least one Honor and/or Merit for overall design excellence in each of the categories:
- Category one: Multifamily – Less Than 50 Units
- Category two: Mixed-use – Over 50 Units
- Category three: Single-family – Nontraditional
- Category four: Single-family – Traditional
- Category five: Renovations/Adaptive Reuse -Less Than 5,000 sq ft
- Category six: Renovations/Adaptive Reuse – Over 5,000 sq ft
Following additional evaluation criteria, the Atlas Distinction recognizes exceptional and innovative projects that both embody good design and serve as a catalyst for the betterment of society. Distinguished projects represent a model for sustainability, resilience, and social equity within the built environment.